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'Fire & Water: Contrasts in Expression' features glass, water media and encaustic art

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Angela Graingers Morning in the Marshes is a watercolor on paper. It will hang with Lin McJunkins glass and steel sculpture, Earth in the Balance.The 51st Festival of the Arts will be run June 20 to 22 with events and exhibits on display at Lakewood Center for the Arts, 368 S. State St. and George Rogers Park, on the corner of Ladd and South State Street, in Lake Oswego. This year’s special exhibit features stunning examples of glass art and painting, which invites viewers to compare and contrast art made from and inspired by fire and water. Titled “Fire & Water: Contrasts in Expression,” the exhibit will be hung in the lower level at Lakewood Center.

“Fire & Water” features glass, water media and encaustic work. Glass includes kiln formed, pate de verre (a form of kiln casting in which finely crushed glass is mixed with a binding material, such as a mixture of gum arabic and water), fused, blown, or sculptural. Water media paintings represent water-based materials including watercolor and acrylic. Encaustic painting uses fire, wax and resin. The work is vibrant, illuminating and inspirational. It has the power to inform, transform and transport all that view it. It sparks conversation and elicits an emotional response.by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Lin McJunkin is an artist and science educator and uses her art to advocate for the health of the planet Earth. This piece is titled Earth in the Balance.

A “wall of education,” a collection of images, guides viewers through a process of comparing and contrasting the paired images and defines terms unique to the exhibit.

“Regardless of the genre, the images that draw us in are rooted in color, texture and forms which move us emotionally,” Curator Marilyn Davis said. “Pairing different genres can trigger poignant stories to which we can relate while examining the media and subjects inspired by fire and water.

“Artists are deeply shaped by the specific location in the world around them,” Davis said. “They bring everything they are to their work, yet the work has integrity of its own, separate from the artist. In this exhibit, artists are encouraged to select one or both of these elements, and using their medium, create an insight into the essence of our world based on that element.”

This year’s featured artists include Jeremy Lepisto (glass), Elise Wagner (encaustic), Judith Morris (water media), Angela Grainger (watercolor), Lin McJunkin (glass, steel), Jeni Lee (acrylic, pastel, crayon, collage) and Cynthia Morgan (cast soda-lime glass on optical glass base).

“My hope is that the viewer will walk away from seeing my work with a new vision and perhaps the next time they walk in the outdoors, they will take the time to look closely at the jewels of nature around them,” Grainger said. Her piece, “Morning in the Marshes,” is a watercolor on paper and will hang with “Earth in the Balance,” a glass and steel sculpture by McJunkin.

“As an artist and science educator, I advocate for the health of our planet and its inhabitants by focusing the heat of my commitment, as well as the heat of my glass,” McJunkin said.

According to event organizers, experiencing “Fire & Water” will infuse you with the inspiration that artists bring to their work. Your own experience comes into play as you immerse yourself in the art and let the images transport you to a new understanding.

“’Fire & Water’ is so visually stimulating that you’ll want to turn right around and view it over again,” Davis said.

The Festival of the Arts includes an open show, The Chronicles of Lake Oswego curated by the Arts Council of Lake Oswego, a high school art show and The Art in the Park, formerly called the Fine Arts Crafts Faire.

Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. June 20 and 21 and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 22.

Parking is available at Marylhurst University, 17600 Pacific Highway. Free shuttle service is available from Marylhurst throughout the festival.

Admission is free, though a suggested donation of $5 per person of $10 per family is appreciated.

To read complete details of the festival visit lakewood-center.org/pages/Lakewood-Festival-Date-2014.

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